At this very moment, my husband is in the kitchen with all three children, entertaining them with a rousing game of “Simon Says.”
He just walked in the door a few minutes ago, and after doing a baby hand-off, I escaped to my office with a homemade hazelnut mocha to do my weekly work on my book.
But hearing him in there, being all dad of the year and what not?
Makes me feel like crap.
Because the truth is, I’ve been a pretty crappy mom today.
It started at about 3 A.M., when Jacob woke up screaming, as is his new trend this week. (Loving it!) He refuses to nurse, fights me with his every fibre of his small chubby being, and I feel completely helpless to comfort him. We finally let him cry it out in his crib after 5 A.M, when he did eventually fall asleep.
When I woke up this morning, I was in insta-crabby mom mode. Do you know what I’m talking about? Everything felt overwhelming and not worth the effort. Getting dressed? A battle of wills with the baby. Cooking breakfast? Out of eggs, of course. Planning dinner? Ugh.
I’ve been cooped in this house with these kids for what feels like weeks on end. I worked last weekend at the hospital, my kids were sick, Jake’s been miserable, and I was feeling burnt out.
I tried to will myself to fight it.
But my kids could sense it.
Because they always do.
They were fighting and crabby right along with me, the girl pulling each other’s hair and screaming at each other, Jake wanting me to walk him around the house so he could admire the scene from the safety of my hip. I briefly considered braving the mall with all three of them just to shake us out of our funk, but it was snowing, and then before I knew it, it was Jake’s naptime, then lunch, then Mya’s naptime and then it was 4 o’clock.
I hate when I feel like this.
I feel guilty that I’m not enjoying my time at home with them. I feel guilty that we have no money to do anything–because it’s entirely my fault for not working more. I feel stupid for blogging and writing and I feel like I have no friends. I feel like a dummy for complaining. I feel like every other mom gets dressed and cutesy and manages to get their kids out the door to fun-filled activities, while I seriously can’t fathom the thought of taking all three of them anywhere and spending money we don’t have for what I know will end in tantrums and tears and most likely, an explosive poopy diaper.
Because that’s how it always goes.
I drag through the day, alternating between feeling listless and dull and miserable with trying to play with my kids (a half-hearted pillow fight? Yes! Playing peek-a-boo with Jake while I lay on the floor? Ok!). I pretend to have it together and force myself to fold some laundry so I will feel productive. I feel selfish and awful that the sound of Ada’s constant sniffling is driving me to my last nerve. I just want to be able to put Jacob down without him screaming. I dread Ben coming home because I feel like I’m going to take out my feelings on him. It’s not his fault I can’t get it together. If I need help, I should just hire a babysitter, right?
Except I can’t. Or won’t. Or can’t. Is there a difference?
And then when Ben walks through the door, the kids are all over him, slathering him with kisses and flinging their bodies over him as if they can’t stand me for one more second as I slink away, defeated and hating myself for wanting to escape.
And yet here I am.